“Unless a company has a clear point of differentiation it does not have a strategic vision. Setting a strategy, rather than deploying a series of tactics, is the biggest challenge for any new business.”


The Holy Grail of CSR

The way we do business, and the impact we make as we do it, defines our identity, just as much as the bottom line on our companies balance sheets.

Plenty of CEOs talk the language of Corporate Social Responsibility but how many embed it in their businesses? A Harvard Business School study found that the CSR function is typically housed at least two levels below the CEO too often, it exists in a silo and a companys CSR programme is neither integrated with its broader business strategy or aligned to its purpose and values. Run by internal managers, often without the involvement of the CEO, the danger is that they become a set of uncoordinated initiatives rather than a coherent plan of action.

When companies start hiring a vice-president responsible for CSR and reporting directly to the CEO that would indicate progress but you could argue that the day they start firing them is a better sign because it means they are being held accountable and the issue is being taken seriously.

Social responsibility should be at the heart of every decision a company takes, not bolted on as an after-thought. Commerce and justice need to be intrinsically linked, not treated as separate entities.




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